Ottawa, ON, April 17, 2024 – Jeff Morrison, President and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC), which represents Canada’s largest air carriers (Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet), issued the following statement regarding yesterday’s federal budget:

“NACC is encouraged that the federal government has acknowledged the need for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply by disbursing up to $500 million per year in Clean Fuel Regulations compliance payment for the Canadian biofuels market which will include SAF.  NACC also notes the acknowledgement of the need for investments in airport infrastructure by creating a working group that will look into how pension funds can be used to support this vital infrastructure.

Although welcome, there is more work to be done.  We look forward to working with the federal government to roll out SAF measures in an expedited manner that will lead to greater supply, and to collaborate with the announced working group to ensure that airport infrastructure in Canada can be enhanced so that Canadian air travel can compete globally.

The budget also committed to “strengthen transparency of fees for optional services charged by airlines”.  Ancillary fees charged by airlines put greater choice and flexibility in the hands of passengers, and NACC members are transparent in this regard – we will need greater clarity on the intent of this announcement.

Budget 2024 contained a number of measures designed to address the cost-of-living and affordability crisis Canadians are experiencing.  However, a competitive aviation sector is critical to air travel affordability, and Canada’s high taxes and third-party fees actively deter competition, while doing nothing to enhance the passenger travel experience.  More needs to be done by the federal government to address the lack of competitiveness caused by excessive third-party fees and charges.

Canada relies on a competitive, accessible, and sustainable air travel sector.  Moving forward, we urge the federal government to work with the aviation industry to ensure that new support for SAF rolls out quickly, to conduct a full review of all taxes, fees and service charges in aviation, and to make the necessary investments in airport infrastructure so that the Canadian aviation system can compete globally.”

About the National Airlines Council of Canada:

The National Airlines Council of Canada represents Canada’s largest national and international passenger air carriers:  Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet.  It promotes safe, sustainable, accessible and competitive air travel by advocating for the development of policies, regulations and legislation to foster a world-class transportation system.  Pre-pandemic our members collectively carried over 80 million passengers annually, directly employed over 60,000 people and served as a critical component of Canada’s overall air transport and tourism sector, which supported more than 630,000 jobs.

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